Barbara Daniels

Color pours through the woods
though night works to blot it,
bleaching the creek and wet grass.

I hate the branches—skeletons
reach from a cold jar—hate
the paper with my diagnosis,

black print, blue cursive, fraught
numerals. I pant because
I’ve been running. The body

can be discarded, shocked
and comforted by the dead.
Dragonflies fall and die—

green darters with hyaline
wings—no longer lords of June.
The dead laugh, embarrassed,

then speak to me through blue lips.
I stand by a row of birches
that rose from a fallen nurse tree.

I can’t forget the nail
in my heart. I hate the silver stars.


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